Getting Started with the Particle Photon – Part 1


This first post is part of a series aimed at getting the Particle Photon up and running in a useful fashion.  The Photon is by a company named Particle.  It is meant to connect objects to wifi and make ‘smart’ things, like a lamp that you can turn on and off through the internet.  The whole ‘internet of things’ movement is growing at the moment and this company seems to be putting out some very good products.

There are three categories of documentation on the Particle Docs:  Getting Started, Tools and Features, and How to Build a Product.  I am going to start out at the very beginning and work through their documentation, and I will add my own documentation to it as well.  I am going into this as a beginner for the most part, and although I have some experience with the Arduino, it is not really sufficient enough to make a big difference.  So we will be learning together! Lets go.

Today I unpackaged the photon finally, and at first I was a little surprised by how small it is.  After inspecting it, however, it does not seem to be unusual.  It looks like a powerful little piece of equipment.  Here are some pictures:

Photon and Quarter


Particle Photon


I did not get the kit, which is why I only have the photon by itself.  The photon kit comes with a breadboard, a diagram, and a couple resistors, LEDs, and a USB cable.  The Docs cover the parts of the photon, and I highly recommend familiarizing yourself with these components.

Now plugging it in to my computer:


Downloading the App and following the on screen directions:

IMG_0706 IMG_0707 IMG_0708 IMG_0709


Now its connected and updating:





Now that I am connected and done updating, the first thing the docs say I can do it blink the on board LED on and off.  It is beside D7.

Tinker APP

Photon D7


And then I set up a simple LED circuit on D1.  Make sure to use ‘digitalWrite’ on the options for the pin.

thumb_IMG_0716_1024 Simple LED circuit


And that should wrap up this post!  In the next one I will follow along with the Docs and see if I can make something a little more complicated.  I have to say its pretty cool to be able to control it that easily.  It took almost no effort to connect it to the wifi.  Anyways, make sure to check out the next post!

Part 2 HERE.

Comment below and let me know if these are helpful!

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